By Abigail Abrams , Wilder Davies , Mahita Gajanan , Rachel E. Greenspan and Cady Lang
When we consume art—get swept up in a film, meander through a museum, parse the lines of a poem—we tend to direct our praise or criticism toward the artist who created the work. But behind every artist, there is almost always a person, and sometimes many more than one, who believed in their vision and gave them an opportunity to share their work with the world.
It may be a gallerist who took a chance on a painter whose work they knew would upend the norms of the art world and prove a tough sell to buyers. It may be a publisher who releases into the world books with the power to reframe how we think about our common history, or an editor who breathes new life into the work of a German playwright by having it translated for the first time for English-speaking readers. It may be an executive who deems a television series undeniably binge-worthy.
The art that reaches our eyes and ears does not find its way there by accident. Here, TIME highlights the work of 12 champions of culture who are creating platforms—be they museum walls or magazine pages or literal stages—for the artists who are opening our minds and changing our world today.
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